(taps microphone) Ahem, testing, testing… Oda owns all of his wonderful characters and the world that they inhabit. I am a cheap hack who can't come up with my own characters/universe to save my life. Thank you and have a nice day.

(A/N) Every bad guy has his moment to shine. Blackbeard's a special villain and I'm really looking forward to seeing him again as One Piece progresses. Like every One Piece villain, I'm sure he'll get a chance to gloat later on. For now, here's my little tribute to one of the most awesome villains to appear on One Piece.

Sweet Victory

Blackbeard liked sweet things. A good piece of cherry pie, a swig of the sourly sweet rum…good, sweet things. But nothing was quite as sweet as victory.

His defeat of Fire Fist Ace and his simultaneous claim of the title Shichibuki were as sweet a pair of victories as he could ever hope to gain. Such were the thoughts of Marshall D. Teach as he swaggered down to the brig of his newly acquired ship. Blackbeard seldom indulged in gloating, but drunk on his victories and the rum that his crew found in the galley made it irresistible. His former commander sat in his cell, arms bound behind his back with the sea-stone shackles that he'd thankfully had the foresight to bring. Fire Fist Ace was battered and bruised, his face bloody and his freckles stark against his pale skin. And yet he still glared defiantly at Blackbeard, refusing to cower before his former subordinate.

"You should've taken my offer." Blackbeard rumbled as he took another swig of his rum, "I'd've made you my first mate, second under the new Pirate Lord!"

"Sooner rot in hell than serve a traitor like you." Ace replied coldly, spitting a mouthful of blood at Blackbeard's feet.

"You should've told me that Straw Hat Luffy was your kid brother from the get go." Blackbeard continued, ignoring the crude gesture, "I should've guessed it, though, when I saw him."

Ace's head rose sharply, his eyes filled with an unknown fear. Blackbeard saw this and laughed.

"Yeah, I met your brother! Had him within arm's reach and let him go. 'Course, that was before I knew how high his bounty was. Shame, that kid had guts and the bruises to show for it!"

Blackbeard let out a harsh laugh as Ace's eyes went to the floor as fear for his little brother filled him.

"Looking back, I should've known he was your brother. The kid had terrible taste in food, for one. He had your stubborn nobility, too. Let himself get beat up by a bunch of punks calling themselves pirates till he was half-dead, just to prove himself!"

Blackbeard leaned downed until his face was level with Ace's, enjoying the delectable mixture of fear and anger in the boy's eyes.

"A kid that noble can't last that long as a pirate, Ace. As much as I admire the brat, it's gonna catch up with him sooner or later. I'll find that kid: with all the noise he makes, shouldn't be too hard. And when I do…"

Blackbeard paused for effect. A rat scuttled by and was swiftly caught by his Yami Yami powers. He held the furry, wriggling body in front of Ace's face. Ace's horrified expression was like honey on Blackbeard's tongue. He squeezed the rodent with an audible "snap" and let its broken body fall onto the rotting, crusted floor.

"Sweet dreams." Blackbeard chuckled as he stood up and began stumbling to the door. Ace's head drooped onto his chest, finally, truly defeated.

"Oh and by the way," Blackbeard paused at the base of the stairs. Ace's head only lifted a fraction, dreading what Blackbeard had to say as his parting shot.

"If I take Straw Hat Luffy alive, I'll request that you two share a cell in Impel Down. Good brothers like yourselves shouldn't be separated!"

Blackbeard's mocking laughter rang through the brig long after he'd left.